Wilson steps in as Newcastle Jets interim coach

Newcastle Jets have confirmed assistant coach Ash Wilson will take the reins of the Westfield W-League team on an interim basis, in the absence of Craig Deans. 

Deans is currently holding down the fort of the club’s Hyundai A-League side following the sacking of coach Ernie Merrick last week.

Newcastle expect the current arrangement to remain in place until the Jets appoint a new Hyundai A-League coach.

Jets CEO Lawrie McKinna told reporters last week that he hopes a new boss of the men’s team will be in place by January 24.

Wilson joined Deans at the Jets in 2015.

“Ash has been my assistant since my first season in the Westfield W-League, and is an extremely capable coach,” Deans told the club website. 

“There was a very open and honest conversation between myself, the [Westfield W-League] coaching staff, and the playing group and we believe this is the best course of action for the club given my commitments with the men’s squad.

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Craig Deans

“I’ll still be actively involved with the team, but promoting Ash to head coach in the interim will provide clarity to the situation and help the girls focus on a big game this weekend against Melbourne City.”

Newcastle face Premiership frontrunners Melbourne City on Saturday afternoon requiring a win to keep their slim hopes of Finals Series football alive. 

“It’s obviously not been ideal to lose Deansy midway through the season, but we’re a well-oiled machine and things have continued as per usual for the most part since he stepped in with the men’s team,” Wilson added.

“However, having the chance to step in as the head coach and lead the team is a fantastic one for my personal development as a coach and a chance I’ll take with both hands.

“We’ve got a good bunch of girls and our coaching set-up is a good one between Deansy, myself, Keelan [Hamilton, second assistant] and Goldy [goalkeeping coach, Andrew Goldman] and it’ll be business as usual for us.”

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